Our Mission: Create Opportunities for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their Families to Participate Fully in the Community


DDRC Self Determination InitiativeJune 15, 2021


DDRC Self Determination Initiative (SDI)
 Self  Determination is a concept central to  everything DDRC does to support individuals and their families as they choose how to lead their lives.  So, it’s harmonious that DDRC also has the Self Determination Initiative (SDI), an initiative that provides support to help make aspirations a reality for people we serve.

DDRC’s new SDI Coordinator, Julia Panucza, who has worked in the IDD field and with DDRC’s Adult Vocational Services says, “I bring my dedication, experience and leadership to advocate for people with disabilities and help them achieve their goals." 

SDI is funded through the Jefferson County Mill Levy and funds are available to Jefferson County residents with developmental disabilities. Individuals work with DDRC’s SDI Coordinator to brainstorm ways to fulfill their goals and apply for and implement their award funding. 

A variety of services, materials and supports arising from person-centered needs and goals may be considered for funding, such as:

·       coaching and technical support in using technology,
·       acquiring devices so people can stay connected, access email and have a tool for budgeting.
·       bicycles and other equipment,
·       classes /support to lead to entrepreneurship, employment, greater independence and personal growth.
·       access to Employment Gateway, a web portal created as the brainchild of DDRC’s SDI, in coordination with others, to help job seekers. Each person creates a video resume and profile of their interests, skills and experience. It’s a powerful way for the individual to show who they are and what they can bring to a job.

Julia is excited to have more individuals apply and participate, and says, "I have a passion for what I do ­- to make goals and dreams a reality.” If you or someone you know would like to explore SDI funding, email Julia.Panucza@ddrcco.com or call 303.462.6528.